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Ann Arbor library considers getting into the bike business

The Spoke Folks, a Grand Rapids non-profit, wants to put "More Butts On Bikes" and help people maintain them.
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You may one day be able to check out bicycles for free at the Ann Arbor District Library.

The library is considering teaming up with Common Cycle, a non-profit bike club, in an effort to provide free bike rentals to library patrons.

Eric Jankowski is with Common Cycle. He says details are still being worked out, including what the late fees will be, and for how long a library patron can check out a bike. As for how many bikes they’ll need?

"However many bikes it takes ... to fill the demand for people getting around town and accessing all the cool things in our city," says Jankowski.

Volunteers with the bike club are meeting with library officials today to figure out logistics.

Josie Parker, the Library's director, thinks the idea of lending out bikes at the library is "very appealing," and she would "like for it to happen very much."

But she says there are some issues that have to be worked out, like figuring out liability costs, and how to ensure the bikes are well-maintained.

You can currently check out many other items from the AADL, in addition to books and CDs. Members can borrow prints from the library’s framed art collection; they can check out special meters to measure their homes energy efficiency. The library’s even started circulating telescopes as part of an astronomy starter kit.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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